Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary


#1

Can someone explain to me what the Little Office is?

I understand basically that it is a shorter version of the Divine Office that is devoted to the Blessed Virgin.

Is it an alternative to the Divine Office, or an additional prayer?
Was it used by monks, or was its simplicity mainly aimed at lay people who were not able to pray the Divine Office?
Do you know any saints (particularly early saints) who speak highly of this devotion?
As it is fairly easy to pray a simplified version of the Divine Office, what reasons might draw someone to this devotion other than its simplicity?
What is the connection between the Little Office and the Brown Scapular?
Can you recommend a good version of the Little Office? (preferably with latin and english)

Thanks to anyone who can answer any or all of these questions for me.


#2

Is it an alternative to the Divine Office, or an additional prayer?

Yes. Before the simplification of the Western Divine Office in the form of the Liturgy of the Hours, many active communities of Sisters would recite the Little Offive of the Blessed Virgin.

Until the Council of Trent, it was obligatory upon most priests except on great feast days, to be said in addition to the Divine Office…

Was it used by monks, or was its simplicity mainly aimed at lay people who were not able to pray the Divine Office?

Yes. (Don’t you hate asking either/or questions and getting YES as an answer?)

Many monastic orders recited the Little Office in addition to the Divine Office (as well as Office of the Dead and certain other Little Offices) on most days.

Because of its simplicity and yet reselblance to and connection with the Divine Office, it’s been a staple of Books of Hours and pre-Reformation Prayer Books for Laity.

Do you know any saints (particularly early saints) who speak highly of this devotion?

While devotees of the Little Office said that it was invented by St. John of Damascus who used it daily, there is in fact nothing corresponding to the Little Office in at least the Byzantine tradition.


#3

There is something called the Sabbatine Privilege attached to the Brown Scapular. It requires the daily recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can get permission from the priest to say a Rosary instead.

Peace,
Linda


#4

If you’re enrolled in the brown scapular confraternity, you agree to say the Little Office daily… but if you ask any priest, he can allow you to say the Rosary instead. (probably because most people don’t have time for the Little Office). Sorry I don’t know anything beyond that…

God bless


closed #5

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